Dance Performances - Grace

About Grace


One of the most popular works in the Ailey repertory, Ronald K. Brown’s spellbinding Grace is a fervent tour-de-force depicting individuals on a journey to the promised land.  Described by The New York Times as “astounding, something to be sensed as well as seen,” this spiritually-charged work is a rapturous blend of modern dance and West African idioms.  As in many of Brown’s works, the movement alternates fluidly between extremes, with eruptions of power coupled with lightness.  A serene solo for an angel-like figure in white gives way to fireball intensity as 12 dancers resembling urban warriors execute Brown’s whirling, pounding choreography, arms and legs slicing the air and fingers pointing to the sky.
Brown’s varied music choices closely reflect the heart of the work, with the spiritual grounding of Duke Ellington’s Come Sunday, the contemporary yet timeless house music vibe of Roy Davis’ “Gabriel,” and the West African and African-American traditions of Fela Kuti’s Afro-Pop beats.

Support for this production was provided by
Natasha Leibel Levine, M.D. & Harlan B. Levine, M.D., and Elizabeth Marsteller Gordon.

The creation of this work was made possible, in part, by AT&T,
the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The Harkness Foundation for Dance.


Brooklyn born Ronald K. Brown has created and presented dances since 1985, with his NY-based company Evidence, at venues in the U.S., France, Brazil, England and Cote d'Ivoire. Brown's choreography has been performed by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, African American Dance Ensemble, Cinque Folkloric Dance Theater, Philadanco, Ailey II and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, among others. Brown has worked with and learned from Jennifer Muller/THE WORKS, Mary Anthony Dance Theater/PHOENIX, Bessie Schonberg, Ann Carlson and Judith Jamison. He is the recipient of numerous awards including a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie), National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers' Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.


Performance Schedule & Tickets

There are no upcoming performances for this repertory piece.


Assistant(s) to Choreographer

Angelica Patterson, Telly Fowler


Duke Ellington, Roy Davis, Fela Anikulapo Kuti


Omatayo Wunmi Olaiya


William H. Grant III

First Performance


Run Time

30 minutes

Musical Style

Groups 10+

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News & Press

One of the newest additions to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's repertory is, in another sense, the oldest. Asadata Dafora choreographed "Awassa Astrige/Ostrich" in 1932, soon after moving to New York from his native Sierra Leone.
The Ailey company's senior dancer, Matthew Rushing, is, to me, the very epitome of forcefulness without pushing - indeed, because of not pushing. Rushing has spent twenty years with the troupe.
Ronald K. Brown’s landmark Grace, created for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1999, returns to the repertory in a rapturous, spiritually-charged new production set to Duke Ellington's classic "Come Sunday," Roy Davis' hit "Gabriel," and the powerful rhythms of Fela Kuti's Afro-Pop.